19 March, 2009

The Roller Coaster

Last night, Jason and I spent the evening at a funeral home saying goodbye to his Grandma who died Saturday at the amazing age of 94. It is customary for Catholics to have open casket wakes the day before a funeral and today is the funeral so last night, Grandma was in attendance. I spent most of the evening in the kitchen of the funeral home. Lifeless bodies make me nervous.

Everyone from Jason's family was there except his brother and sister-in-law in Arizona who had very good, job-related reasons to be absent. Jason's grandma had two children and he hadn't seen the family branch from his uncle's side since he was in his single digits so I was a little overwhelmed by the Whole Family Reunion thing.

The members of the family who organized the wake brought out some old family albums from his grandmother's life with pictures of family life that ranged from, I would say, the late 1800s up to a picture from our wedding and Jason's younger brother's wedding. Some of those older photos were Fabulous. We think our digital point-n-shoots now take good pictures? These pictures were just as good but with less technology. And back then for some of those old pictures, you paid a pretty penny to have them taken so that you could have only one picture of yourself to pass down. How many pictures of myself have I thrown away while spring cleaning?

While sitting in the kitchen, avoiding the room with Grandma in attendance, Jason began receiving urgent phone calls from various friends. He ignored a couple of them but then got curious as more calls came in, so he stepped out to answer one of the calls.

Within a few minutes, he appeared in the doorway and gestured for me to come out with him.

"They're releasing 4-day Red Rocks passes on TicketMaster now!"

Turns out that someone, at some point this evening, had pushed the More Info button on the TicketMaster page for the Red Rocks onsale that is supposed to lead to information about when the tickets go on sale. That button will turn into a Find Tickets button next Thursday at 10 a.m. But instead of leading to information, it led to a Captcha page where TicketMaster is supposed to weed out the Bots from the Humans with a word or phrase that you have to type before moving on to a waiting screen. And once the Captcha was entered, the waiting screen appeared and after about a minute or so, the Purchase Tickets page came up.

Was it intentional? Was it a mistake? Two biggest questions of the night, only asked After people got the confirmation page and email that they had just purchased 4-day passes.

One of the calls Jason received was from a friend who assured us she had us taken care of but we knew of a couple of friends that needed to be taken care of so I ran out to the car to grab my phone. I thought I might have a chance at getting through TicketMaster on my Dare but Verizon's web service isn't accessorized enough to get through Java and Flash requests. So I called my friend Stacey.

"Are you by a computer now?"

"Yes, why?'

"Can you go on TicketMaster and search Phish Red Rocks? People are getting tickets now - there's some sort of mistake or something."

So she heads to the page and sees the More Info button. As a TicketMaster veteran herself, she knows that means that it isn't onsale yet so she tells me so. I tell her to click the More Info button. She is more and more shocked at each subsequent page that comes up that she shouldn't be able to get to but can. When she pushes the Submit button with my credit card information, neither she nor I expect it to go through, but it does.

Holy Crap, I have 2 4-day passes to Red Rocks. Holy Crap.

I head back into the funeral parlour, avoiding the front room where Grandma is, with a huge smile on my face. Totally incongruous to the surroundings and our reason for being there. I managed to duck my head in time to avoid being seen by a mourner, but couldn't erase my smile.

For the next two hours, Jason and I talked quite a bit about the possibility of this going through. Ever the realist, I presented a pessimistic viewpoint and gave reasons for why I thought this way. Jason is much more of an optimist than I but even he was questioning the likelihood of this actually sticking. Despite our personal views on whether or not it would stick, however, we were both very excited and hopeful that yes, it would actually be *that* easy.

When I got a chance, I checked out bank account online (my phone can do that, at least) and the money was listed as pending. Holy Crap.

I was heading off to bed when the cancellations started coming in for our friends and acquaintances. I haven't yet gotten mine - the email went to Stacey since she completed the transaction under her own account - but I know I will. According to a TicketMaster-employed source on one of my message boards, this was a huge error in event scheduling and, as soon as it was discovered, TicketMaster's I.T. Department scrambled immediately to correct it. Supposedly, the source is going to fill us in more around lunchtime when he can escape from the all-day meetings (oh, to be a fly on those walls today) and let us in on details. It doesn't matter much; the upshot is that it was, in fact, a mistake and that all orders are canceled, all monies will be returned and all of us will have to return to stroking our lucky idols whilst placing our lottery orders. And when/if those come back unfulfilled, all of us will be taking a break from our jobs a week from today at 12 p.m. mountain time to overload TicketMaster's server in an attempt to get those damn tickets back in our hands.

I have various people helping me place lottery orders because I know my chances with TicketMaster on the work T1 next Thursday are very, very slim. I would love to have more. If you have about $450 room on a credit card and want to help me out, I would love you forever and ever. Or if you have a lucky idol you want to throw my way, that works too. Sigh.

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